Online Poster Gallery for the 12th Annual Pole Symposium

Welcome to the APECS NL online gallery for the 12th annual Pole Symposium of the Netherlands Polar Programme. This gallery features the work of Early Career Scientists in Polar Science, as presented during the Pole Symposium on November 21st at NWO in the Hague.

Participating posters:

Below you will find abstracts for all participating posters. Click on the posters themselves to download them as a pdf.

Rúna Magnússon – Wageningen University


Apart from an amplified warming trend, precipitation is projected to increase in Arctic regions throughout this century. Increased rainfall has the potential to conduct heat to the soil, potentially accelerating permafrost thaw. In the summer of 2018, we have irrigated plots on Betula nana dominated tundra vegetation overlying ice-rich permafrost at the Chokurdakh Scientific Tundra Station. Treatment plots (n=10) received 100mm of additional precipitation on top of ambient precipitation, whereas control plots (n=10) did not. Irrigation was supplied in additions of 10 to 15 mm with an application rate of 25mm/hr from nearby thaw ponds using a motorpump and sprinklers. We observed a significant increase of 63% in thawing rate of irrigation plots relative to control plots during the summer of treatment. During the following summer (2019) without irrigation, thawing rates were still significantly higher (44%) in irrigated plots. Additionally, we observed a significant accumulation of standing water on top of the permafrost at the end of summer in 2018. This indicates that irrigation results in transport of heat in the form of water to the permafrost table. Our results demonstrate that extreme precipitation events in summer may have lasting effects on permafrost stability, which may in turn affect greenhouse gas emissions and vegetation composition of Arctic tundra ecosystems. This warrants inclusion of precipitation and coupled heat-water transport in soils into permafrost models.

Sjoerd Barten – Wageningen University


The opening of the Arctic ocean leads to substantial changes in ocean-sea ice-atmosphere exchange and, consequently, concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), and other gases affecting climate like methane (CH4) and ozone (O3). Also, we expect a change in emissions of a sulphur compound (‎C2H6S), produced by plankton, that plays a role in cloud formation. In this research we integrate MOSAiC experimental activities into a different set of models to understand the local processes, but also to assess the impact on larger spatial and temporal scales.

Elena Guk – Independent Human Geographer


In XX century century, several northern territories of Krasnoyarsk region, areas of traditional land use in the past, became new industrial areas. One of the largest mining plants in Soviet Union, built above 69°N, caused emergence of Norilsk; one of the most populated cities above the Northern Circle. In XXI century, Norilsk has approx. 176,500 inhabitants and is estimated as one of the most polluted cities in the world. The city is de facto managed by Norilsk Nickel mining company, one of the world-leading non-ferrous metal producers. Limited transportation availability and remoteness of the newly built area in combination with hazardous climate and industry triggered emergence and development of local recreation practice. Since 1940s, dozens of outdoor recreational centers were built in the neighborhoods of Norilsk and on the lakes of Western Putorana Plateau, UNESCO natural world heritage object hundred kilometer east of Norilsk industrial area. The research has showed that transport connection of Norilsk with southern regions of Russia remains travel limiting factor due to insufficient capacity and cost, even partly subsidized. It was consequently revealed that local tourism and outdoor recreation are on demand, although the quality of environment, both natural and built, degrades with proximity of the certain recreational area or facilitiy to Norilsk Nickel plants. During the fieldwork different forms of outdoor recreational activities and facilities in the region were identified, with same-time capacity of more than 8,500 visitors of built recreational environment, mainly owned by Norilsk Nickel but private as well. Putorana Plateau, being the least polluted, most attractive and short-seasoned recreational destination in Norilsk region, is visited mostly by incoming tourists due to its cost that majority of Norilsk citizens cannot afford. The study has found that local tourism and outdoor recreation is an essential part of everyday living and determinant of well-being of area inhabitants (and thus one of the pillars of local sustainability), not only due to its necessity for healthcare in polluted conditions but also because of lack and underdevelopment of other services, including public transportation (both interregional and local), and ways of spending free time.

Lorenz Meire – NIOZ


Goncalo Jordao Piedade – NIOZ


Polar regions are especially sensitive to global climate change. Shifts in temperature, sea ice cover, freshwater run-off, wind mixing, water column stratification, and nutrient availability are expected to result in profound alterations in ecosystem productivity and microbial community composition. Microbes form the base of the marine food web and make up >70% of the living biomass in the seas and oceans. The ecology and evolution of viruses (10^30 in the global oceans) are entwined with that of their hosts, making them key modulators of microbial populations. To date, however, only a few studies targeted polar marine viruses. As part of a comprehensive study focussing on polar marine virus ecology, we address the ecogenomics of marine Antarctic viruses and their putative hosts. We have completed a metagenomic survey in the productive coastal waters of the Western Antarctic Peninsula over the productive seasons of 2 subsequent years. Furthermore, we conducted a spatial survey, including metagenomics sampling across the Weddell and Amundsen Seas. We have isolated DNA from both the microbial and viral fractions and submitted it for illumina NextSeq500 sequencing. We will compare the viruses identified in both Antarctic and Arctic waters to other marine viromes collected around the world to assess if there are cold-water (polar) virus ecotypes. The resultant large data set will allow the assignment of viruses to their hosts and allow us to cover the temporal (77 samples) as well as geographical (73 samples) examination of Antarctic marine viruses and their hosts in unprecedented detail.

Max Holthuis – VU Amsterdam


Many terrestrial and marine studies have tried to understand past and future changes of the Arctic climate. However, the link between coastal and marine processes remains relatively understudied. In this study, we aim to provide more insight in the connection between sedimentological processes occurring on the border between land and sea in a non-glaciated setting. This is done by determining which sedimentation processes take place in Dicksonfjorden, a non-glaciated fjord in Svalbard, Norway. For each process, sedimentary characteristics, frequency and timescale are established, providing insight in the history of the fjord landscape. Samples are obtained and analysed from 1) sediment traps in the river and in front of the fjord head delta of the fjord, 2) a gravity core from the delta slope, and 3) a gravity core from the middle of the fjord. Analytical methods are: multi-sensor core logging, X-ray photography, manual logging, weighting of the samples, thermo gravimetric analysis, grain size- and shape-analysis and endmember modelling of the grain size dataset. Sedimentation processes are established on a long-term timescale, an intermediate timescale and a short-term timescale. The main sedimentation mode during the Late Holocene is background sedimentation in the form of fine grained sediment settling from the water column. Sedimentation of coarser grained sediment occurs on the same (long-term) time scale by sea ice rafted debris deposition. Further, turbidity currents act on the intermediate timescale and enables coarse grained sediment to be transported from the delta front into the fjord. The turbidity currents are triggered by high sedimentation rates that lead to delta lip collapses during spring season. Lastly, fluctuations in the glacio-fluvial input of the fjord act on the short-term timescale. Semi-diurnal tide fluctuations of Dicksonfjorden dictates the sediment load and the coarseness of the sediment input into the fjord. This master’s research contributes to the sedimentological part of the project titled: “Sediment flux from source to sink – the coastal link: sharing current knowledge and establishing a consortium for future research”. The project aims to increase the understanding of the role of the coastal zone in Spitsbergen fjords for sediment transfer to fjord basins, as well as the impact of changes in sediment supply on biological life.

Amey Vasulkar – TU Delft


The impact of Arctic sea ice decline on the future global tides and storm surges is unknown. Regional studies, Overeem et al. (2011), Kowalik (1981), Kagan & Sofina (2010), have shown that the impact can be substantial, e.g. causing increased erosion. Further, changes to the Arctic tides and surges are likely to spread to a wider region around the Arctic and may impact water levels in the Dutch coastal waters and Wadden Sea. The project titled, ‘Forecast Arctic Surges and Tides for the Netherlands (FAST4NL), aims to develop a Total Water Level (TWL) model to quantify this impact of declining ice on tides and surges. The TWL model will be an extension of the Global Tide and Surge Model (GTSM) (Verlaan, et. al (2015)) which models the tides and surges over the globe. GTSM is built upon the Delft3D-FM unstructured mesh code, that currently does not consider the effects of ice. In the Arctic region, due to the presence of sea ice, there is additional dissipation due to friction at the ice-water interface. We made a preliminary estimate of the potential impact of dissipation at the ice-water interface on the water levels in and around the Arctic. In this experiment we approximated the effects of landfast ice for the summer and winter conditions of 2014. These results show that the effects are largest in localized parts around the Arctic. Further, there are some effects spread globally, but are likely to be small in many areas around the world. The magnitude of these effects depends highly on the assumed friction coefficient.

Inger Bij de Vaate – TU Delft


Clement Delcourt – VU Amsterdam


The boreal forest is one of the world’s largest soil organic carbon pools. Wildfires affect boreal net ecosystem carbon balance, releasing large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere when soil organic layers are consumed. The boreal forest is warming faster than the global average. These higher temperatures lead to an increase in wildfire disturbance in boreal regions. Deciduous forests of larch species represent approximately 20% of the global boreal forests, yet little is known about the consequences of intensifying fire regimes on the carbon stocks and forest cover of these ecosystems. We conducted a field campaign in larch forests around Yakutsk, Northeast Siberia, during the summer of 2019 with the goal of filling parts of these knowledge and data gaps by collecting ground measurements of carbon combustion from two large fire events in 2017 and 2018. During this campaign, we sampled 42 burned sites in two fire scars that cover gradients of fire severity, vegetation composition and landscape position. Within these sites, we performed a wide range of measurements that will estimate aboveground and belowground carbon combustion, constrained by data from 12 unburned sites. We also assessed post-fire recovery and active layer thickening. This dataset will be combined with remote sensing products and climate datasets to upscale to regional scale estimates of available biomass and combustion. This poster provides an overview of our 2019 fire expedition in Siberia and shows some preliminary results. This research is part of the “Fires Pushing Trees North” project funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and affiliated with NASA Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE).

Berill Blair – Wageningen University


In the project Enhancing the Saliency of climate services for marine mobility Sectors in European Arctic Seas (SALIENSEAS) running 2017-2020, a multinational consortium of scientists have worked together to improve climate services for maritime actors in Arctic waters. At its core the project coproduces improved (sub)seasonal sea ice forecast and ice berg detection services with metservice experts and end users by probing ways these services can reduce uncertainties for stakeholders. We present a novel approach to exploring the effects from the reported reliability of sub-seasonal sea ice forecasts on the user’s perception of uncertainties during voyage planning. Our methods combine a participatory scenarios process and serious gaming techniques in the computerized simulation gaming environment ICEWISE. We introduce the game and preliminary results from test rounds conducted with five participants with expertise in Arctic marine operations. To conclude, we reflect on the coming stages of data collection that will culminate in an exploratory model. The model serves to inform sea ice service providers of the potential mediating effects from the reliability of sea ice forecasts on the user’s own perceived confidence in successful voyage planning.

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